Agency picked for anti-smoking ads
Madison - The state Tobacco Control Board will pay $6.5 million to a Milwaukee marketing agency for a new statewide anti-smoking campaign that will begin in January, officials said Thursday.
David Gundersen, executive director of the Tobacco Control Board, said the exact amounts BVK/McDonald will spend on various types of anti-smoking messages, including TV ads and billboards, have yet to be determined. The firm's fees will be based in part on how successful the anti-smoking campaign is, he added.
The $6.5 million will be paid from $23.5 million set aside for anti-smoking efforts next year - money to come from settlements between the tobacco industry and Wisconsin and other states. An additional $3.5 million in grants to local groups is scheduled to be announced next week.
Gundersen said the ad campaign will go beyond traditional messages.
"It's no longer just 'Smoking is bad for you,' " Gundersen said.
Now, he said, anti-smoking messages must be tailored to specific minority and age groups.
Campaigns, he said, must also send three new messages: that secondhand smoke kills; that tobacco is addictive and deadly; and that tobacco manufacturers' marketing campaigns have targeted youths, trying to get them to begin smoking.
Tobacco kills 8,000 Wisconsin residents each year, Gundersen said.
"Through the media, and more importantly through the leadership of communities across Wisconsin, we expect to change the very foundation of people's perceptions of tobacco use," he added.
BVK/McDonald specializes in health care marketing, state officials said.